A "how-to" look at the awesome effects that make the Animal Grappler .







This episode would take our cameras on the water, which required the use of two boats. The first was the speed boat needed for Bo to ride in to troll the bait. The second was a pontoon boat, not seen in the episode, but was the base of operations and was a stable platform to film from.

Though the adventure was to take place in the ocean, we decided to film on a large lake, but this presented the problem of nearby shorelines in the shots. In order to deal with this setback, all of the shorelines would have to be removed in post production to give the illusion of water continuing to the horizon.

How was that done? Because many of the shots were moving, the horizon was not always level and pitched from frame to frame. This required us to frame by frame animate black mattes to match the movement of the horizon in the shot. Once created, the original skyline above the trees was able to be layed under and shifted down to the waterline, thus giving the illusion the sky began at the waterline.

We also constructed a shark fin, sculpted in foam and finished in fiberglass. When properly weighted, we were pleasantly surprised at how well it performed. It was actually a little chilling to see the fin dart, dash, submerge and surface on its own behind the small boat.

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